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Family Plans To Sue Columbia Gas Over Teen’s Gas Explosion Death

The family of an 18-year-old student who was killed in the Columbia Gas explosions that rocked three Massachusetts towns in September plans to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the utility company. Leonel Rondon, a high school junior from Lawrence, Massachusetts, was sitting in his SUV with three other friends when the Columbia Gas explosions occurred, toppling the brick chimney of a friend’s house where Mr. Rondon’s car was parked. The heavy structure fatally injured Mr. Rondon, who had just gotten his driver’s license a few hours before the pipeline blasts erupted throughout the Merrimack Valley. He died in the ... Read More

Workplace Sexual Harassment Triggers Google Employees’ Protest

On Thursday, Google employees from around the world walked off the job briefly to protest the company’s alleged mishandling of sexual misconduct claims against some of its executives. The walkout was the latest protest by employees expressing frustration over the treatment of women in the workplace, specifically sexual harassment, and efforts to cover up rather than address bad behavior. Approximately 1,000 Google workers protested in San Francisco and thousands more showed up at Google’s Mountain View, California, headquarters, according to the Associated Press. Protests were also held in Tokyo, Singapore, London, New York and Seattle as engineers and other workers ... Read More

Georgia Corrections Officer Wins Whistleblower Retaliation Case

A former Valdosta State Prison Corrections Captain who filed a whistleblower retaliation lawsuit against the Georgia Department of Corrections persuaded a jury that he was wrongfully fired for complaining about orders he claimed were illegal and dangerous. Captain Sherman Maine objected to orders that he provide an inmate working undercover with a cellphone as part of a sting operation Corrections was conducting to identify corrupt guards. According to the Daily Report, the scheme nearly got the informer killed in January 2012 when new prisoners transferred to Valdosta State Prison recognized him from his role in a similar operation at another ... Read More

Judge Finds Amazon Not Liable For Hoverboard House Fire

A Georgia man who was severely burned and lost his home to a fire triggered by a Chinese-made hoverboard had his lawsuit against Amazon and several other companies dismissed by a federal judge, who said the plaintiff failed to provide sufficient evidence that Amazon knew the device it sold was unsafe. Chief Judge Thomas Thrash Jr. of the Northern District of Georgia responded favorably to Amazon’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit – a decision that lawyers for plaintiff Irvin Love Jr. said came before any factual discovery could be conducted into what and when Amazon knew about the defective hoverboard ... Read More

Judge Upholds Landmark Monsanto Verdict But Slashes Plaintiff’s Award

A California judge pared down a $289 million judgment against Bayer’s Monsanto in a landmark case brought by a terminally ill man allegedly sickened by Roundup herbicide, but upheld the jury’s findings that the agrochemical giant acted with malice. San Francisco Superior Court Judge Suzanne Ramos Bolanos said that the $250 million in punitive damages the jury ordered Monsanto to pay plaintiff Dewayne Johnson must be brought in line with the $39.25 million in compensatory damages the jurors thought was suitable. The judge’s 11-page ruling, released Oct. 22, stated that “regardless of the level of reprehensibility of Monsanto’s conduct, the ... Read More

Monsanto Trial Jurors Petition Judge To Preserve $289 Million Jury Verdict

Monsanto has asked San Francisco Superior Court judge Suzanne Bolanos to overturn a $289 million jury verdict awarded to a California man who claims glyphosate herbicides caused his terminal cancer, prompting some of the jurors to petition the court to preserve the verdict. In seeking to reverse the verdict, Monsanto argues lawyers for plaintiff Dewayne Johnson used “legal theatrics” to emotionally manipulate the jury with inflammatory remarks and influence its decision. Judge Bolanos issued a tentative written ruling Oct. 10 indicating that she would overturn the $250 million in punitive damages the jurors awarded Mr. Johnson and reduce the $33 ... Read More

Plaintiffs Get $3 Million in Negligent Security Case Against Georgia Apartment Complex

Insurers of the defendants in a negligent security case have paid $3 million to the parents of a teen shot to death and another man critically injured in a January 2016 apartment complex shooting in Decatur, Georgia. Creekside Forest Apartments, its owner Chester Meisels, security provider SMJ Construction Services, and its owner Joe Gonzalez were sued by the parents of 15-year-old Jaylon Henderson and 27-year-old Terrell Sellers, a friend of Jaylon’s older brother. According to the Daily Report, Jaylon and his brother Zerek were visiting Mr. Sellers at the Creekside Forest Apartments on Jan. 6, 2016. Mr. Sellers was a ... Read More

Motion suggests pharmacy benefit managers adopt opioid guidelines

The top pharmacy benefit management (PBM) companies, like CVS Caremark, Express Scripts Inc., and OptumRx Inc., should be required to follow opioid prescribing guidelines consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in light of the opioid epidemic, according to a new motion in the growing opioid multidistrict litigation (MDL). The motion for preliminary injunction came out of two MDL cases – one filed by union benefit plans for Ohio residents, and another filed by Webb County, Texas. PBMs have, for the most part, flown under the radar in the opioid MDL, until now. The opioid MDL consolidated ... Read More

DEA Airplane Crash-Landed on Texas Road at Rush-Hour

A Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) airplane crash-landed Wednesday, surprising drivers on Voss Road, near Sugar Land, Texas. Only one of the three passengers on the plane was injured. The unidentified victim was treated and released from a nearby hospital. The plane, a single-engine Cessna, was on a training mission and was scheduled to land at the Sugar Land Regional Airport around 3 p.m. local time. According to a DEA spokesman, the plane suffered a mechanical problem, forcing the pilot into an emergency landing. He was attempting to land on the road when he snagged power lines and struck several cars. ... Read More

Sepsis sends 25,000 nursing home patients to hospitals annually

Sepsis, a life-threatening complication of an infection, was the most common reason for transfers of nursing home patients to hospitals, and these patients were much more likely to die from sepsis than any other condition, according to a federal report cited in MedPage Today. Just as devastating is the human and financial toll of these cases. According to an analysis conducted for Kaiser Health News by Definitive Healthcare, a private health care data firm, 25,000 nursing home residents each year developed sepsis and other conditions and were transferred to hospitals, costing Medicare more than $2 billion a year. “This is ... Read More